Tips for inclusive student presentations
- Before setting a presentation, check whether students have any individual reasonable adjustments. Liaise with Accessibility (firstname.lastname@example.org) as appropriate.
- Provide students with a clear brief and assessment criteria. (Some students will need to be explicitly taught how to structure and deliver a presentation.) Encourage students to experiment with different tools (such as index cards, mind maps, video and Prezis) to find which best match their preferred learning styles.
- Provide a template for all students to follow. For example:
Speaker’s name and course:
Main points: e.g. problem/task/background/findings/conclusions/future areas for study etc.
- Discuss with students ways of removing any barriers. For example, students with physical disabilities may need extra time and/or assistance to set up.
- Consider alternatives for students with specific learning differences (such as dyslexia), mental health conditions (such as anxiety), Asperger’s Syndrome, stammers etc. These may include:
- Giving a presentation to a smaller group or individual.
- Student videoing their presentation.
- Giving a word limit, rather than a time limit.
- For some students, it may be reasonable to permit alternative forms of assessment, such as written work.
- Help students develop confidence through group presentations first then short individual presentations.
- Focus on content and ideas, rather than delivery.
- Provide additional time for hearing-impaired students with sign language interpreters (to allow for translation time).
- Consider the needs of students with mobility and health conditions, e.g. wheelchair access to podium/stage, difficulty standing for long periods etc.
- Encourage the use of Assistive Technology such as text reading software, where appropriate.
Examples of good practice at Falmouth University:
- On one course, a student with a slow speed of processing due to her dyslexia was not able to quickly respond to questions at the end of her presentation. As a consequence, she felt stressed and anxious. Her tutors agreed to write down a list of questions for her to answer later on in the day.
- On another course, two tutors observe each presentation and one writes up notes regarding the content and format. Afterwards both tutors and the student go through the feedback together adding anything that may have been missed in the initial write up. The feedback is copied and given to the student there and then. This helps students fully understand and remember the feedback and makes them an active part of the process.